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WikiLeaks Calls For Assange To Step Down

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the clean-out-your-desk dept.

Government 565

Stoobalou writes "A member of Iceland's parliament and prominent organizer for whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks has turned on the site's spokesman, Julian Assange, urging him to step down over rape allegations made against him in Sweden. Birgitta Jonsdottir told news site The Daily Beast that she did not believe Assange's repeated assertion that the allegations of rape and molestation made against him were part of a US-backed smear campaign to distract attention from documents posted on the site laying bare US involvement in the war in Afghanistan and further promised revelations."

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Price (2, Informative)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 4 years ago | (#33490844)

I guess everyone has a price...

Re:Price (5, Insightful)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 4 years ago | (#33490888)

The blind faith many people seem to put in Assange confuses the hell out of me. He pissed off the United States, so any and all allegations against him are automatically baseless? By those standards, all anti-US terrorists in US history are automatically innocent.

Re:Price (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33490986)

And for most of those living in the Leftardia planet, yes, all anti-US terrorists are automatically innocent. Their credo is: the victims are the criminals, the criminals are the victims.

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491294)

They'll need to get copies of all the paperwork that's gone on with this and put them on wikileaks. Let people make up their own mind about what happened.

Re:Price (0)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491032)

He's most likely guilty of something.

Just sad that it happened here, but his history in the area didn't looked too good so not that weird that someone may not have liked him.

Stupid if he misbehaved but whatever, things move on.

Yesterday on Swedish TV regarding the election Lars Ohly was talking about how buying a prostitute should get harder sentences (6 months at most now I think) but thought (I think) that people should get out sooner from prison if they behaved well so that someone in jail for harsh mayhem could get out in 6 months instead of 1 year.

Yeah, because buying sex from someone willing to sell it and eventually close to kill someone is more or less the same.

It should rather be legal, if people are forced to sell sex that's another issue.

Anyway, that was somewhat unrelated. I hope he got the right sentence.

*Everybody* is guilty of something ... (5, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491568)

A member of Iceland's parliament and prominent organiser for whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks has turned on the site's founder, Julian Assange, demanding that he step down over rape allegations made against him in Sweden.

Jonsdottir, who speaks Swedish, said that she had reviewed Swedish police records and disputed Assange's claim that the allegations were politically motivated, suggesting instead that they may be the result of cultural misunderstanding.

How is it that a politician is reviewing the evidence in an ongoing police case and furthermore, commenting on it in public? In most civilized countries that would be cause for an investigation into the police, and the firing of the prosecutor for not running a tight ship with a clear separation between the judiciary and the executive brances.

This doesn't pass the "smell test." Not one bit.

Did Assange do anything wrong? I don't know - but this sort of tampering by politicians makes it sure seem like someone, somewhere, *is* out to get him.

Re:Price (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491058)

The blind faith many people seem to put in Assange confuses the hell out of me. He pissed off the United States, so any and all allegations against him are automatically baseless? By those standards, all anti-US terrorists in US history are automatically innocent.

Its not blind faith, it just shows how little we all seem to trust the US when so many of us are quick to assume that a rape allegation against an individual the US would clearly like to silence is an attempt to smear their reputation.

Re:Price (5, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491198)

Or how often wacky chicks just accuse famous people for their own narcissistic reasons.

Re:Price (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491228)

Or how people with an inflated sense of self worth think they can do whatever they please with no consequences.

Re:Price (0)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491494)

Or how people with an inflated sense of self worth think they can do whatever they please with no consequences.

Easy there, big fella. It's not like he's a celebrity or a professional athlete.

Re:Price (5, Interesting)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491100)

By those standards, all anti-US terrorists in US history are automatically innocent.

You mean until proven guilty? Or do you think anyone the US labels as an enemy should be considered automatically guilty and get locked away indefinitely with no habeas corpus [wikipedia.org] rights?

Re:Price (0)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491240)

When it comes to national security, nothing is sacred, unfortunately.

Re:Price (5, Insightful)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491540)

When it comes to national security, nothing is sacred, unfortunately.

Unfortunately this very idea was the core modus operandi of the Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union both.

It was also supposed to be the differentiating factor between them and the so-called "principled democracies", USA chief amongst them.

So much for all the propaganda and bullshit, eh?

Re:Price (4, Insightful)

fey000 (1374173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491116)

How about innocent until proven guilty? And yes, that would apply to anti-US terrorists as well (even though they never get a trial). Furthermore, given that Assange has trouble with the US military machine, perhaps a more careful examination process would be in order before shouting denigrations to the media. The whole case has been handled rather poorly by the swedish justice system, when it was clear from the start that a modicum of tact would be required to avoid this media shitstorm.

Re:Price (2, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491648)

The whole case has been handled rather poorly by the swedish justice system, when it was clear from the start that a modicum of tact would be required to avoid this media shitstorm.

It is entirely possible that those in the Swedish justice system did not care if they avoided a shitstorm. Not everyone buys into the PR hype of the modern information era, some people just do what they want. It is also possible that they knew it would start a shitstorm and handled it specifically in a way that would encourage such a thing.

Re:Price (2, Insightful)

geekymachoman (1261484) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491120)

[quote]
The blind faith many people seem to put in Assange confuses the hell out of me. He pissed off the United States, so any and all allegations against him are automatically baseless? By those standards, all anti-US terrorists in US history are automatically innocent.
[/quote]

1. He 'should' be innocent until proven guilty. But we all know this is just BS.
2. As someone here pointed out before, it doesn't make sense to 'try to rape' someone or molest, if you do what Assange does. It doesn't mean he's innocent ofc, but rule 1. should especially apply in this case, because it can easily be smear campaign. That is... the probability of this being smear campaign by US Gov is high.

And probabilities is the only thing you can count on, until you get objective facts. Well... at least it is from my perspective, since I'm not American, and I tasted the injustice of US Gov on my own skin many times.

Re:Price (3, Insightful)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491438)

As as someone who is an American I agree 100%.

In my lifetime I've yet to see a government in this country I'd trust as far as I could throw the Lincoln Memorial (with Glenn Beck's fat, stupid ass crying on the steps to weigh it down even more). Most of our elected officials seem to be concerned with nothing more than protecting their own images, enriching the people who they're getting bri... 'campaign donations' from and passing a bunch of useless bullshit to keep the ignorant masses behind them.

That's not to say Assange didn't do something, just that there it's entirely within reason that this is a smear campaign.

Re:Price (1)

besalope (1186101) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491598)

As as someone who is an American I agree 100%.

In my lifetime I've yet to see a government in this country I'd trust as far as I could throw the Lincoln Memorial (with Glenn Beck's fat, stupid ass crying on the steps to weigh it down even more). Most of our elected officials seem to be concerned with nothing more than protecting their own images, enriching the people who they're getting bri... 'campaign donations' from and passing a bunch of useless bullshit to keep the ignorant masses behind them.

Reminds me of a good quote:

Politicians were the original con-men.

- Neil Caffrey

Re:Price (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491158)

I know civics education in this country is complete shit, but I do seem to recall something about how we afford people the presumption of innocence until they are proven guilty in a court of law. For all we know, this woman is behind manufacturing accusations against Assange so that she can step in.

I'm not accusing her of doing so. I'm simply saying that she could just as well be using it as a tool for manipulation. The guy could be a complete jack-ass for all I know. I also know that it has no impact on the value of the service he started and the information that he has revealed through it.Dismantling him doesn't invalidate that knowledge.

It is sad that mere accusations are enough to demand that people step down from just about anything. His life is going to be forever altered for the simple fact that he was accused, even if there ends up being no basis for it. Even if it turns out that it was just the manufactured story of a ruthless reporter and a pissed off chick.

Considering the stories we hear all the time these days about how such accusations are often entirely fictional -- such as "I ditched a night out with my friends for drinks with this guy I met, so to deal with their scrutiny over me ditching them, I invented a story of rape and got a man jailed for a crime he was innocent of", I am not willing to ever assume guilt whatsoever.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1206325/Woman-rape-allegation-faces-jail.html [dailymail.co.uk]

http://gothamist.com/2010/02/24/woman_who_lied_about_rape_sentenced.php [gothamist.com]

Just because you may hate anyone who questions the United States of Amuricah, because they're freedom-hating assholes who want our heroic baby-rescuing, never-in-the-wrong troops to die . . . doesn't mean they're also guilty of rape or any crime.

Re:Price (4, Insightful)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491256)

It is sad that mere accusations are enough to demand that people step down from just about anything. His life is going to be forever altered for the simple fact that he was accused, even if there ends up being no basis for it. Even if it turns out that it was just the manufactured story of a ruthless reporter and a pissed off chick.

It has been mentioned that he has been dragging wikileaks into this personal situation, for example using the wikileaks twitter feed to promote the idea that he is innocent and the US is running a smear campaign. I do not think he would be asked to step down, especially so publicly, if he had kept his personal life and wikileaks separate.

Re:Price (5, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491354)

Considering the fact that "wikileaks founder Assange accused of rape" made headline news across the bloody planet...did he really have a choice?

Re:Price (1)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491364)

It has been mentioned that he has been dragging wikileaks into this personal situation, for example using the wikileaks twitter feed to promote the idea that he is innocent and the US is running a smear campaign. I do not think he would be asked to step down, especially so publicly, if he had kept his personal life and wikileaks separate.

I agree. And like TFA eludes to, there shouldn't be one person speaking for wikileaks, there should be many. Maybe it's time he let someone else carry the torch.

Re:Price (5, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491638)

It is sad that mere accusations are enough to demand that people step down from just about anything. His life is going to be forever altered for the simple fact that he was accused, even if there ends up being no basis for it. Even if it turns out that it was just the manufactured story of a ruthless reporter and a pissed off chick.

It has been mentioned that he has been dragging wikileaks into this personal situation, for example using the wikileaks twitter feed to promote the idea that he is innocent and the US is running a smear campaign. I do not think he would be asked to step down, especially so publicly, if he had kept his personal life and wikileaks separate.

Yes, HE has mixed wikileaks with this rape charge. Not the newspaper that published the story in the less-than-24h time period during which the charges stood. The guy who hadn't even been told there were charges against him before the article was published. It's all his fault. He was clearly asking for it... the way he dresses...

Re:Price (3, Informative)

praksys (246544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491488)

"...we afford people the presumption of innocence until they are proven guilty in a court of law..."

That's a pretty widely misunderstood principle though. It defines an epistemic stance that the judge and jury are supposed to adopt. They are supposed to disregard, or screen off, any beliefs they had regarding the guilt or innocence of the accused prior to the trial and consider only the evidence given in the trial. Obviously this doesn't apply to the prosecution, witnesses, or complainant though because they are all expected to act according to their sincerely held beliefs either way.

As for the media and public at large, the legal principle of presumption of innocence just doesn't apply. You could argue that there should also be a general social norm requiring that people unconnected with the case presume innocence, but it's hard to see why that should be the case.

Re:Price (0, Offtopic)

Fractal Dice (696349) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491170)

I would have thought that the groupthink and manipulation of public opinion leading to that little trillion dollar "weapons of mass destruction" boo-boo in Iraq would have taught Americans a lesson about the value of the presumption of innocence.

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491266)

The blind faith many people seem to put in Assange confuses the hell out of me. He pissed off the United States, so any and all allegations against him are automatically baseless? By those standards, all anti-US terrorists in US history are automatically innocent.

As others have put nicely:
you're a retarded cunt-nugget

Re:Price (2)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491338)

"He pissed off the United States, so any and all allegations against him are automatically baseless? By those standards, all anti-US terrorists in US history are automatically innocent."

Yes. Is that in the slightest surprising?

Politics is war between cultures and belief systems, not a search for truth or the best way to do things. Damage to ones enemies is literally delectable, and to motivate the masses must be seen as righteous. People don't make war for intellectual constructs, by and large. What men evolved to crave is Jihad, Crusade, Lebensraum, and power.

PFC Attention Whore _must_ have pure motivation for bulk document leakage, because he furthers a cause his backers find affirming. Sarah Palin _must_ be the maternal goddess of the Tea Party because she furthers a cause her supporters find affirming. That's how most people work.

Re:Price (0, Offtopic)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491512)

Troll, eh?

I defy whoever modded the post down to post a reasonable counter-argument instead.

Re:Price (4, Insightful)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491342)

You are right, where the hell is my pitchfork? I mean, this is RAPE we are talking about, you don't need a trial for that!

And the timing of these allegations, no coincidence there, I agree! The CIA would never run a smear campaign!

Everyone has a price (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491656)

The blind faith many people seem to put in Assange confuses the hell out of me.

The problem is bigger than Assange.

Accusations of bribery are rampant on Slashdot whenever a public figure, judge or politician makes a

Re:Price (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491664)

No, all allegations are not automatically baseless, but the government clearly has a large bias against him here and they've previously tried questionable methods to get him to stop what he's doing. Fabricating crimes isn't very far fetched when you start looking at what the US has ALREADY DONE in other situations. I mean, we tried to use a beard destroying cream on Castro for fuck's sake. It doesn't get much more crazy than that. In comparison, fabricating an accusation of rape is actually pretty well thought out. It's a crime that everyone will immediately assume he's guilty of and urge him to step down without the benefit of a trial.

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491014)

Why, what's in it for The Man to have Wikileaks replace Assange with someone else?

It's not like he single-handedly runs the site, he's the spokesman. His fate is not Wikileaks'.

And so it begins (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33490848)

When somebody is doing something that is not wrong, but offends, they attack him, till everybody turns against him. Or possibly her. Just ask the lady from Georgia.

Now I can recognize how terrible it is to pretend that the king can do no wrong, or to let the king get away with all sorts of crap, but it is equally wrong from the other way, to take even the slightest, flimsiest excuse and use it to tear down a person in authority.

Tough choice.

Re:And so it begins (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33490908)

Yeah, because rape is a minor character flaw. Personally, the conspiracy issue does not make sense to me. Assange is a low key, shadowy figure. It is easier to raise doubt about wikileaks by changing the subject to issues about Assange. There is no guarantee that whoever replaces Asssange will not be a bigger, more flamboyant pain in the ass for the powers that be.

Re:And so it begins (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#33490962)

'rape' in sweden is what what most of us would consider rape.

from TFA:

"And he's a classic Aussie in the sense that he's a bit of a male chauvinist."

from my reading of what happened, he pissed off 1 or 2 women by 'not being exclusive' with them.

BIG FUCKING DEAL! so to speak..

this is far from rape!

it seems to be a case of women who thought they had a 'lock' on julian; and they were upset to learn he had no real plans to date either one exclusively.

this is what its about.

to ask the man to step down because of this is actually pretty insulting.

Re:And so it begins (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491002)

damn, uncorrected typo. edit:

"'rape' in sweden is not what what most of us would consider rape."

/someday there will be an edit-post feature in slash.

Re:And so it begins (1)

drewhk (1744562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491060)

To be honest, we don't know shit about this. I am really disgusted with rape, even rape-fiction, fantasies of rape or anything like that. That said, I am also skeptical about rape accusations. Women use rape accusations all the time to take revenge on someone. In our university we have the policy that we do not consult any student (especially female) without having many eyewitnesses around. Just in case.

Re:And so it begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491208)

That said, I am also skeptical about rape accusations. Women use rape accusations all the time to take revenge on someone.

I dunno though, I think the Slashdot set tends to overestimate this. Is it really so widespread? I'm a male in my late twenties, and none of my friends or acquaintances have ever falsely been accused of rape, at least as far as I know of.

I can't help but wonder if exaggerating this phenomenon is just a way for nerds to rationalize being afraid of women.

Re:And so it begins (2, Interesting)

drewhk (1744562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491470)

In my close circle I witnessed the "work" of two psychopathic women, so my faith is somewhat shaken. However, you must understand that I am not saying that women are worse than men. In fact, my opinion is that all humans independent of sex could do exactly the same amount of grief.

Raping someone is usually done by males.
Accusing an innocent about rape is usually done by females.

Two sides of the same coin.

Re:And so it begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491518)

I dunno though, I think the Slashdot set tends to overestimate this. Is it really so widespread? I'm a male in my late twenties, and none of my friends or acquaintances have ever falsely been accused of rape, at least as far as I know of.

I can't help but wonder if exaggerating this phenomenon is just a way for nerds to rationalize being afraid of women.

Reliable figures I've seen from the FBI and some UK group were at 8% for provably false allegations of rape.

Then you consider how many false allegations simply aren't provable as such (though there may be reason to believe it), and well...it's rather high enough to be troubling.

As to why none of your friends or acquaintances have ever been falsely accused, well, it may be that that didn't tell you. I wouldn't imagine that to be something you'd want to share for most folks. Or it may be your social group is not representative of society at large. Hard to say.

Re:And so it begins (3, Interesting)

moeluv (1785142) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491176)

I can't I know what the exact charges/circumstances are fo rin Assange's case. But i can say that the legal definition of rape changes nation to nation, so it would be nice to have the actual details of the situation. Heck in Israel you can be charged with rape for lying to a woman, or misrepresenting your marital status to get laid. I have friends that qualify to go to jail in Israel - here they are just being douchebags.

Re:And so it begins (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491182)

Isn't crying "rape" such an awesome tool for character assassination? You don't have to be a bad person at all. You could be the most saintly person in the world, but as long as I find a female or maybe a little boy to claim you did something vague, I can ruin the rest of your entire life.

Re:And so it begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491348)

Yeah, because rape is a minor character flaw.

Well, your use of the word "rape" is why they chose to make these kinds of allegations, because this kind of thing is something that sets off all sorts of emotional reactions from people. Even without seeing the facts people just see that a person is a "rapist" or "sex offender" and use that to condemn them. In this case, the word "rape" which you used is severely misleading from what I understand of the accusations, because while in English, rape tends to mean forced non-consensual sex, the circumstances as described in various articles do not come close to that general meaning.

Now I admit I don't know Swedish, so I can't read the original documents, but assuming that what I have seen is true, and you are exaggerating the situation, however inadvertently, I do think you are clearly demonstrating the problem here. Really, I'm assuming you're honestly outraged...but do you have the facts?

Personally, the conspiracy issue does not make sense to me. Assange is a low key, shadowy figure. It is easier to raise doubt about wikileaks by changing the subject to issues about Assange. There is no guarantee that whoever replaces Asssange will not be a bigger, more flamboyant pain in the ass for the powers that be.

I don't believe there is a conspiracy, as such, but I believe this is a common pattern that is a problem, and way too easily exploited. To use a metaphor, this whole business is like a tinderbox, all it needs is a stray spark, not somebody to toss on accelerant and provably commit arson.

Re:And so it begins (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491626)

"Tough choice."

Not really. One is absolved of moral obligation to enemies if ones cause is just. It is reasonable to use all means to attack enemies.

If one dislikes the king, shorten his neck. If one prefers the king, shorten the necks of the rebels. Last group standing wins. Impossible to cheat when there are no rules except that "rules mean losing".

Two Words: (1)

Adaeniel (1315637) | more than 4 years ago | (#33490858)

Paid off.

Re:Two Words: (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#33490900)

2 more words: scared off

Re:Two Words: (3, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491272)

5 more words: 2 more words: scared off

Re:Two Words: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491026)

The classic tools are:

  • Money: Paid off
  • Ideology: Ideological differences
  • Coercion: Blackmail, etc.
  • Ego: not appreciated, passed over, etc.

Re:Two Words: (1)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491318)

Or he did it?

There has been no evidence presented, he's not been put on any trial. While it is possible he is the victim of a campaign, it is equally possible he is actually guilty of something.

If only Hans Reiser had founded wikileaks, someone would have already broken him out of prison.

As long as WikiLeaks stays afloat post Assange (0)

utahraptor (703433) | more than 4 years ago | (#33490894)

then this could work out for the best. If Assange steps down and is found not guilty in the end, WikiLeaks can continue on without this distraction.

Re:As long as WikiLeaks stays afloat post Assange (-1, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#33490980)

Assange is a megalomaniac control freak. This is why he should step down, such "leadership" no longer benefits Wikileak's purpose. He may also be a creep, but that's a separate issue from Wikileaks. Now, megalomaniac control freaks are often creeps...

Re:As long as WikiLeaks stays afloat post Assange (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491146)

If Assange steps down and is found not guilty in the end,

He's already "not guilty". It's not like he's even had a trial or anything is it?

Re:As long as WikiLeaks stays afloat post Assange (2, Insightful)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491178)

Agreed.

Whether he is guilty or innocent, Wikileaks should not be about him.

If it is ever about individuals, it is about the whistle-blowers. The wikileaks website is just a tool that helps them blow the whistle anonymously.

He should turn it over to a foundation where he can be one of the board members.

Re:As long as WikiLeaks stays afloat post Assange (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491634)

No, because it means that if this is a US campaign against him or similar then Wikileak's leadership can be disrupted just by mere accusations.

The worst thing they can do is make Assange step down whilst he's innocent to make a point that if it is an intelligence operation or similar, that they can't be bullied.

Oh yeah? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33490902)

Well, Birgitta Jonsdottir hates kittens. It's true because I made the allegation. She should step down.

Re:Oh yeah? (4, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491456)

Someone on the Internet claiming to be only 15 told me a story last night to the effect that Birgitta Jonsdottir raped him. If this is true, it could be said that Birgitta Jonsdottir is a child rapist. I'm not sure that a potential child rapist like Birgitta Jonsdottir has the authority to speak on allegations of molestation. Indeed, Birgitta Jonsdottir may be trying to deflect attention from the child rape she could have engaged in. Child rapists, as Birgitta Jonsdottir may be, should step down from any position of responsibility or trust.

Anyone else here on /. heard of anyone else she may have raped, especially someone under 18? If we have two accusations of child rape, then it seems appropriate to investigate Birgitta Jonsdottir for child rape, and to drown out all relevant news about her or her organisation in the media while the question of whether Birgitta Jonsdottir is a child rapist is carefully considered.

Re:Oh yeah? (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491642)

Do all right-ring female pundits come from the arctic?

Inside job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33490944)

Something makes me think this was an inside job.

Too bad there's no place for an insider to reveal what they really know about Mr. Assange or this internal conspiracy.

Too bad... ...wait a minute.

Jonsdottir != WikiLeaks (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33490966)

For the record, Jonsdottir is not part of WikiLeaks but of IMMI. So the title is wrong.

Regarding conspiracy theories. (1)

pyschopimp (1893656) | more than 4 years ago | (#33490974)

Does wikileaks need Assange as a public spokesperson? If not, what benefit to the CIA/whoever is there in providing the leak with any more publicity? Or is it more of a revenge thing?

Re:Regarding conspiracy theories. (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491016)

Or is it more of a revenge thing?

There are many who think it's an "in Assange's head" thing.

Re:Regarding conspiracy theories. (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491210)

Yeah, because the US government has no history of doing anything to people that try to undermine it or piss off those within it. Especially when they have taken the time to personally attack you and your organization repeatedly in public.

Maybe they're not after him, but you certainly could not blame him if he believed they were. And certainly not for behaving pre-emptively as if they were.

Typical Bush/Chenney ... oh wait, its Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491590)

Yeah, because the US government has no history of doing anything to people that try to undermine it or piss off those within it.

Seriously, where have you been these last two years? Obama is running the white house and is commander in chief of the US military. These neo-con conspiracy theories don't work right now.

Re:Regarding conspiracy theories. (1, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491546)

Or is it more of a revenge thing?

There are many who think it's an "in Assange's head" thing.

There's one born every minute.

Does the US-backed smear campaign include /.? (3, Informative)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 4 years ago | (#33490996)

They've already said they've withdrawn the charge of rape http://www.thelocal.se/28504/20100821 [thelocal.se] , and are now only pursuing him for the molestation charge -- which in and of itself is a charged statement. The sex was said to be consensual and that the molestation charge hinges on weather or not knew the condom broke during intercourse and if it was intentional or not.

So, why does /. continue to perpetuate the assertion that he's being persued with a 'rape' charge?

Re:Does the US-backed smear campaign include /.? (1, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491096)

The sex was said to be consensual and that the molestation charge hinges on weather or not knew the condom broke during intercourse and if it was intentional or not.

That's Assange's story, but the ladies lawyer has a slightly different story: Assange insisted on sex without a condom against the lady's wishes (the implication being that sex *without* a condom was not consensual). There are some other details.

But you've done a great job of minimizing the issues.

My speculation is that everyone was drunk, and there were some misinterpretations of intent.

Re:Does the US-backed smear campaign include /.? (2)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491234)

Nah. I think it's a chick that realized she banged a famous guy and is trying to get her 15 minutes of fame with the hopes of a reality show or some such horseshit - everyone is a media whore these days.

New reality show for MTV: "Wikileak bangers! with Ron Jeremy and the chick that accused Jullian of rape!" Staurday's at 11:PM on MTV!

Re:Does the US-backed smear campaign include /.? (1)

Zixaphir (845917) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491408)

So now we're drawing a parallel between Assange and Jackson?

Re:Does the US-backed smear campaign include /.? (1)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491376)

I would've modded you insightful, but another poster beneath you mentioned that the rape case has been re-opened [aljazeera.net] .

Re:Does the US-backed smear campaign include /.? (5, Informative)

mml (38960) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491500)

It sounds like you've missed the latest turn in the sequence of the prosecutor flip flopping. Here's a recap:

    20. August 2010: Duty prosecutor Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand decides it looks like rape
    21. August 2010: Higher ranking prosecutor Eva Finné decides it doesn't
      1. September 2010: Chief prosecutor Marianne Ny decides actually it does look like rape

Source #1: http://www.thelocal.se/28704/20100901/ [thelocal.se]
Source #2: http://www.aklagare.se/In-English/ [aklagare.se]

Re:Does the US-backed smear campaign include /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491614)

So, why does /. continue to perpetuate the assertion that he's being persued with a 'rape' charge?

Because like the rest of the Internet, and humanity, /. isn't immune to having morons on both sides of the equation.

Remember kids, the story is and will forever be, WHO did the reporting. What the story is about is irrelevant in the 21st Century.

Not enough info (4, Interesting)

Kojiro Ganryu Sasaki (895364) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491040)

There is a bit of a problem with not enough information about this case, so I'll try to summary what I know so far.

1: Two women who had sex with Assange went to the police and were adviced to file charges of rape
2: A prosecutor releases the accusations publicly to the press (not a common thing here in Sweden afaik)
3: The case is withdrawn because they realize Assange cannot be nailed for rape. The remaining charge is something akin to sexual harassment.
4: The rape charges are revived
5: ...
6: Profit?

No seriously I'm starting to wonder what the fuck is up with the swedish legal system.

Re:Not enough info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491420)

Where there is power, there's also corruption. Can't wait for AI leadership ...

Re:Not enough info (5, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491584)

There is a bit of a problem with not enough information about this case, so I'll try to summary what I know so far.

1: Two women who had sex with Assange went to the police and were adviced to file charges of rape
2: A prosecutor releases the accusations publicly to the press (not a common thing here in Sweden afaik)
3: The case is withdrawn because they realize Assange cannot be nailed for rape. The remaining charge is something akin to sexual harassment.
4: The rape charges are revived
5: ...
6: Profit?

No seriously I'm starting to wonder what the fuck is up with the swedish legal system.

ftfa: "He acknowledges that the allegations might complicate his plans to obtain a residency permit to remain in Sweden, which has broad press freedom laws that could be used to shield WikiLeaks from American prosecutors. "

You want to have legal protection in Sweden? We'll give you legal TROUBLES in Sweden! Your move, skinny boy.

the man has boundary issues (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491054)

this has served him wonderfully in his work life: respect the sensitivity of a country's secret info? nah

but it has ruined his personal life: respect a woman's wishes in the bedroom? nah

and for those of you who wish to flame me because i am dissing their personal hero: if you can't separate the sainthood of the man from the sainthood of the work, then you have problems. because it is entirely possible to do good things in this world but be a rotten person, and visa versa

you should respect assange's work. i do. i respect assange for what he has done in terms of exposing nasty secrets in this world. good for him

but that does not mean i automatically give the man a free pass on rape

Re:the man has boundary issues (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491132)

"but that does not mean i automatically give the man a free pass on rape"

So, not respecting a woman's wished is now rape?

Re:the man has boundary issues (1)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491184)

With regards to sex, it has always been. She doesn't want to have sex with you but you don't respect her wishes, what is that called again?

Re:the man has boundary issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491462)

Depends. If it is a lefty nuttard darling, or intellectual (looking at you Polansky), it is a allowed, even if there are minors involved. Everyone else, and it is genocide and the consequence of a patriarchal society.

Re:the man has boundary issues (5, Insightful)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491592)

Everything Ive read said the charge is because the woman claimed he broke the condom on purpose.

That is not rape.. that is her being too dry, an expired condom, or a non latex condom.

Ive used many condoms in my day, I'm not even sure how one would "break" the condom on purpose while its in use. I suppose its possible that the condom was tampered with prior to being used but that kinda implies that he intended to break before hand.

I think the women found out about each other.. found they wern't exclusive, and decided to muck things up as best as possible.

Re:the man has boundary issues (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491230)

You fail to separate fact from accusation.

Maybe he's a sleeze. Maybe even criminally so. You have no evidence of this, however. And fortunately, I live in a society where you are presumed innocent. Not just as some feel-good thing we say about our justice system, but as an actual fundamental element of our entire society. Until a court has found absolute evidence giving them reason to convict, neither you nor I are in any place to presume the worst of him. The same way you and I would appreciate such presumptions of innocence if we were falsely or mistakenly accused of something.

Re:the man has boundary issues (1)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491458)

Maybe he's a sleeze. Maybe even criminally so. You have no evidence of this, however. And fortunately, I live in a society where you are presumed innocent.

You're innocent in a court of law, but not in the court of public perception. IN many countries, perception is reality, and as such, some people think he should step down from his "Spokesman" role at Wikileaks. It's a perfectly sane request, that would serve to help the quell the perception that Assange *is* Wikileaks, which is so false.

Re:the man has boundary issues (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491244)

Yeah, except you're making the fundamentally flawed assumption that he's guilty.

The fact is, neither you or I know whether he is guilty or not yet, and yet you seem to be implying that he is.

Re:the man has boundary issues (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491386)

"respect a woman's wishes in the bedroom? nah"

She may well have disrespected his wish precisely as much as he disrespected hers.

If she says 'I want you to use a condom', and he says 'No, I refuse to use a condom, what I want is to have sex without a condom', and she says 'OK then', then A) neither party is showing the other either any more or any less respect, B) it is not and can never in any way, shape or form be 'rape'.

In fact, how is disrespecting a woman's wishes something by default negative? Can I require of women that they respect my wishes?

No, wishes are subject to negotiation at all times, for both men and women. Any other attitude is sexist. You smell disgustingly misandrist.

Now, if he said "No, I don't want to use a condom, and moreover, I will now have sex with you whether you wish or not, here I come!", then he would have raped her. Fortunately no evidence of that has been presented and found valid in court, hence he is not guilty of this act. He is as respectable as he ever was and those who treat him badly are committing the morally objectionable act of treating an innocent man badly.

Why is this so difficult for you to grasp?

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491092)

Is this really true? Most people think the allegations are bunk since they were retracted by the prosecutor. It just seems stupid of Wikileaks to lend them credit like this now.

Way to out yourself, spook. (0, Troll)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491136)

The Swedish government retracted the charges. Now his own organization isn't backing him up? How much do you want to bet Jonsdottir isn't a CIA plant?

Re:Way to out yourself, spook. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491200)

The Swedish government retracted one of the charges, for a while, and then reinstated it later.

Re:Way to out yourself, spook. (0, Offtopic)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491570)

Flamebait? Really?

Re:Way to out yourself, spook. (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491280)

Maybe Wikileaks sees that the US has sicced the dogs of war on Assange and they want to dump him now that he's a liability.

Re:Way to out yourself, spook. (2, Insightful)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491514)

The Swedish government retracted the charges. Now his own organization isn't backing him up? How much do you want to bet Jonsdottir isn't a CIA plant?

The Swedish government then brought new charges. Now a prominent member of his organization, who is also a member of Parliament in Iceland, is calling for him to step down so that the charges against him stop reflecting poorly on Wikileaks.

... and then you leap to "zomg, CIA plant!" Come on. What's next - claiming the CIA brought down the trade towers with a combination of thermite and a captured spaceship from Roswell that was piloted by Elvis and Lee Harvey Oswald?

In all seriousness, if you're going to attempt to argue that the charges against him are unsupported by facts, wouldn't it be good to provide a few facts for your unsupported assertions?

Just more nails for his cross (-1, Troll)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491202)

There will be WikiLeaks, and lo, there will be whatever splinter group Saint Assange sets up in order to keep himself relevant. Are you the WikiLeaks People's Front? Fuck off, we're the People's Front of WikiLeaks. Plus ça change.

Let me round it up for ya (1, Interesting)

fluor2 (242824) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491238)

Whatever the allegations, Assange has managed to get himself into trouble. Like this other guy [dailymail.co.uk] at HP. And also this guy named Clinton (no need for URL I guess) that did not have sexual relationship with that woman.

Interesting how everybody thinks the wikileaks issue is some kind of CIA attack.
These are males. You know, the male human.

Re:Let me round it up for ya (3, Insightful)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491628)

It's not that 'everybody' thinks the wikileaks case *IS* some kind of CIA attack, just that the CIA has done a LOT, LOT worse to people who the government have decided are enemies of the US state and its interests. Such acts by the CIA are credible. The idea that the US state is above smearing its enemies is ludicrous. That means it is *POSSIBLE* that this is a case of character assasination and black propaganda - not that it's PROBABLE - just POSSIBLE.

It's also *possible* that the women are behaving for any number of ignorant, deluded, malicious or screwed up reasons, as it is that Mr. Assange did the things he's said to have done. But then, if this were a smear, that's exactly what they'd like you to think! ;)

mhm.... (2, Insightful)

Zixaphir (845917) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491350)

"... urging him to step down over rape allegations made against him in Sweden. Birgitta Jonsdottir told news site The Daily Beast that she did not believe Assange's repeated assertion that the allegations of rape and molestation made against him were part of a US-backed smear campaign to distract attention from documents posted on the site ..."

Seems to have been a pretty effective smear campaign, if you ask me. I want evidence, and for someone besides a human rights activist who would have an immediate bias against an accused rapist to be the one asking for him to step down.

Comment from Birgitta Facebook page... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491394)

Birgitta Jónsdóttir
things are being very seriously taken out of context... i think it is important to note that i am not suggesting that julian steps aside except as a spokesperson for wikileaks while this case is ongoing - it is important the messenger wont ...become the message - as it seems then it is obvious that weaving together personal matters of this nature with wikileaks is not justifiable - as someone that has put effort into better support for rape victims and battered women i feel it would be out of character to write the allegations off in this case as a conspiracy - if people find me to be a traitor for not taking sides on such serious matter then so be it. i do not claim that Julian or the women are guilty or innocent until we have all the facts.

So she's saying that Assange should temporarily step aside as spokesman for Wikileaks until the facts of the case have been sorted out. Not quite the earth-shattering denunciation the media has hyped, huh? Of course, I don't see how she couldn't anticipate this kind of reaction from all of Wikileaks detractors in the media. That was just naive.

Fair play (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491400)

So when does wikileaks leak the police reports that were filed against him?

Being a public figure is his best defense (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491418)

Other Wikileaks people are urging him to separate this personal situation from Wikileaks. Really? Why? So far, I haven't seen any evidence and so all I know is that I have heard there is a rape and a case of molestation against him. I also know that the charges were initially dropped and I can only assume it was because the evidence is shaky if non-existent.

It seems to me that this has all come about because he is in charge of Wikileaks. If he were to go quiet and let someone else run the show, who knows what they will do? I'm not sure it is in his best interests to disconnect himself from Wikileaks.

Let's see some evidence. Let's get some details. If he was a "nobody" that no one has ever heard of and had nothing to fear from world governments, that would be one thing. But this guy is an enemy to some very powerful individuals and organizations. Remaining in the spotlight is all he has to defend himself at the moment. Asking him to give up his post now would be a problem.

In the words of an ex-US president (1)

bikin (1113139) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491482)

Mission Accomplished.

wikileak thyself! (4, Insightful)

hex0D (1890162) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491562)

It could be a good opportunity for wikiLeaks to show they are truly committed to posting all information in the public interest by posting the police reports and other documents relating to the case. Redact the potential victims names, etc, and put up something that may be damaging to yourself would really show commitment to the ideals you've espoused, IMHO.

But was this reported on the rap news? (1)

Maltheus (248271) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491650)

Kind of obvious (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491666)

I'm not a conspiracy nut but....
If it looks like a horse, smells like a horse, sound like a horse and feels like a horse, it is most likely a horse.
Government officials tell directly to the public that if Assange doesn't hand over the files they will get him by other means and one week later you see rape charges.
How come there are still people thinking that something might be even remotely true concerning these allegations.

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